WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian will dedicate the National Native American Veterans Memorial Friday, Nov. 11. The dedication ceremony will take place on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., as part of a three-day event (Nov. 11–13) to honor Native veterans. A Native veterans procession will take place before the start of the dedication ceremony.
“The dedication of this memorial is an opportunity to gather and reflect on the extraordinary service and sacrifice of Native veterans and their families,” said Cynthia Chavez Lamar (San Felipe Pueblo, Hopi, Tewa and Navajo), the museum’s director. “I hope everyone will join us for this momentous occasion, so together we can offer them our thanks for their contributions to our country.”
Events Nov. 11 will begin in the afternoon with a Native veterans procession, which will make its way along the National Mall to the dedication ceremony. There will be viewing areas along the procession route for supporters to gather to honor the participating veterans and watch the ceremony.
Throughout the weekend, the museum will host special programming in honor of the dedication of the memorial, including hands-on activities, films in the Rasmuson Theater, performances in the Potomac Atrium and a dedicated veterans hospitality suite.
Visitors can also visit the exhibition “Why We Serve: Native Americans in the United States Armed Forces” on the museum’s second floor. The exhibition, which tells personal stories of Native Americans, Native Hawaiians and Alaska Native veterans who have served in the U.S. armed forces, brings long overdue recognition to those who have served their country selflessly and with honor for more than 250 years.
More information about the dedication of the National Native American Veterans Memorial can be found by visiting the memorial’s website. The website includes details on how to register to participate in the Native veterans procession. The dedication ceremony will also be livestreamed on the website so those who cannot attend in person can also watch.
The National Native American Veterans Memorial sits on the grounds of the National Museum of the American Indian and was commissioned by Congress to give “all Americans the opportunity to learn of the proud and courageous tradition of service of Native Americans in the Armed Forces of the United States.” Native Americans have served in every major military conflict in the U.S. since the Revolutionary War. This is the first national landmark in Washington, D.C., to focus on the contributions of American Indians, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians who have served in the military.